- News in Photo
Manila, Philippines – President Duterte has ordered the dismissal of two associate commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration due to alleged corruption activities.
Duterte made the announcement upon his return from his state visits to Cambodia and Singapore late Friday night.
“They will be held accountable for their actions,” Duterte said in his arrival statement delivered at the Davao City International Airport. “They will face the full force of the law.”
Later in a press briefing, the President identified the officials he ordered sacked as Al Argosino and Michael Robles.
He said the two Immigration deputy commissioners are his fraternity brothers from the San Beda College of Law and that he was the one who actually appointed them to their posts.
Argosino and Robles are accused of extorting R50 million from online gambling tycoon Jack Lam for the release of at least 1,316 undocumented Chinese nationals who were arrested near Clark Field in Pampanga for allegedly working in Fontana Hot Spring Leisure Parks’s call center-like facilities suspected of running online gambling operations. Fontana is owned by Lam’s Jimei Group.
The two government officials were supposedly caught on camera receiving paper bags filled with money from retired Chief Supt. Wally Sombrero, who is linked to Lam.
Argosino and Robles have turned over R30 million to the Department of Justice but they are facing charges filed by Sombrero.
According to Duterte, his decision to fire the two Immigration officials is consistent with his electoral campaign.
“I ran on a campaign of a clean government,” Duterte said. “I said before that corruption will have no place in my government. Now that I am President, I reaffirm this commitment.”
“On this and on all my promises, I give you my word,” he added. “As President, I shall work tirelessly to ensure all these promises become a reality.”